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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/29/10

The Age Of Rage

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A rabid ultra-right racist scurrilously edited an old video tape to deliberately smear a life-long civil rights advocate whose work helped her to see "all people as people;" a 14-year old Black child found dead in a New York Staten Island house along with his mother and two younger siblings is portrayed as a monster; and a Black New York state governor whose slight contact in an alleged domestic violence incident is splattered on all the front pages of the state's newspapers. All of the incidents were discussed on national television by pundits trying to link them to the first Black president of the United States, Barack Obama in efforts to smear the squeaky clean character and reputation of the commander-in-chief.

But now that the dust has settled the sprint to judgment to either score political points, be first to break the story or simply to smear someone who differs ideologically and politically, is exposed. Shirley Sherrod, a former of the Department of Agriculture worker, was the subject of a dirty, vengeful and racist blogger's dreamed up smear campaign. Long accustomed to attacking Black organizations and people who did not subscribe or agree to his ultra-conservative "take back America" agenda, he has a reputation for underhanded shenanigans.

This time his beef was not directly with Sherrod she was used as the vehicle to get back at the nation's oldest Civil Rights organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Andrew Breibart, the blogger, who is white, used a deliberately doctored snipped of a speech given by Sherrod 24 years ago on race relations and her personal experiences to attack the NAACP. This was supposed to show up the NAACP as engaging in racism against white people after the organization's president publicly accused the gadfly Tea Party Movement of having a racist phalange in its midst.

Almost immediately the piece of edited tape released on was picked up by Fox 5 whose commentators flew into a political orgasm as they belted both the NAACP and President Obama in an unsubstantiated set of linkages that defied comprehension. Soon other national networks trumped and followed suit smearing Sherrod in the process. Then as the tale spiraled out of control and went viral the Agriculture Department ordered the immediate resignation of Sherrod without looking into the facts. And the White House condemned her alleged discriminatory statement against a white farmer waxing eloquently without doing its home work.

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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